Istanbul in Turkey is historically rich and one of the most interesting cities on the planet.
Across two continents
Istanbul is the only city in the world that sits in two continents: Asia and Europe. Jump onto one of the many ferries that cross the Bosphorus Strait and you’ll travel from Asia to Europe, and back, on the same day!
Operating for more than 500 years, this is one of the oldest and biggest covered markets in the world. With more than 4,000 shops in 60 streets, it is a true shopping paradise.
City of mosques
As the capital of the Islamic Ottoman Empire for 469 years, it is no surprise that Istanbul is home to thousands of mosques. There are approximately 3,000 mosques in the city, including the world-famous Sultan Ahmed Mosque, popularly known as the Blue Mosque.
This is one of the most prominent attractions in Istanbul. Built almost 1,500 years ago, Hagia Sophia was a cathedral during the Byzantine period which was transformed into a grand mosque under the Ottoman Empire. Now, it’s a great historical museum that welcomes everyone.
The birthplace of the tulip
While the tulip is the iconic flower of the Netherlands, it originated in Turkey. Highly prized tulip bulbs were distributed from the Ottoman Empire to various places in Europe, including the Netherlands.